A major fear that people have when travelling to Spain is being denied entry to the country at immigration. In order to avoid this, there are many precautions you can take.
Understanding the decision of the immigration officers is very important. Letting people into their country is solely their decision, which is why travel companies can’t guarantee a fixed income. In order to enter the country, one should comply with the given requirements of the authorities.
First and foremost, these requirements only apply to those that aren’t of Spanish or European nationality. If you have a Spanish passport, then you don’t have to comply with any special requirements since you’re entering your own country.
Similarly, you won’t have many major problems being from a European country. Agreements made by the European community for the free movement of nationals allow you to enter smoothly in Spanish territory. Any other nationalities have to adhere to the Spanish regulations, where some country’s nationals are required to have a visa before entering. The complete list of those who do and do not need a visa can be found on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
Countries that are part of the Schengen territory don’t require a visa. These countries are: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Sweden and Switzerland.
Tourist requirements to enter Spain
In any case, visiting Spain as a tourist allows you to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days. If you wish to stay for longer, then you’ll need to apply for a residence permit or a visa of longer duration.
Entering Spain as a tourist if you are a citizen that doesn’t require a visa
Other countries that do not require a visa are Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil, Guatemala, Paraguay, Honduras, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, Colombia, United States, Panama, Chile, Canada, Mexico and Nicaragua.
If you are the immediate family of a Spanish European citizen travelling to Spain to join your family, with documentation showing your relation, requirements to enter the country shouldn’t be as strict.
In order to enter Spain as a tourist you are required to have:
A letter of invitation or paid hotel reservation for the duration of your stay
A record of where you are staying is important, whether it is in a hotel or with a Spanish resident. If you are unable to produce a letter of invitation, it is recommended that you have the receipt of the hotel you are staying at.
Dates of stay
The dates on your letter of invitation or hotel receipt need to coincide with the dates of your flights.
You should buy a return flight ticket, although it is highly unlikely that an airline will sell you a one-way ticket.
You should have travel insurance that covers your stay in its entirety in Spain.
Carry a minimum of €60 a day
Visitors will need to show to immigration officers that they have a minimum of €60 a day available to them during their stay. This amount should be per person, and insufficient funds can warrant a reason for immigration to cancel your trip. The only way of showing that you have sufficient funds is to show bank statements, traveler’s checks or a physical credit card.
Know your itinerary
It is vital that you have a planned itinerary; even if it is just a rough guide, in the even airport authorities ask. If the traveller doesn’t know about different cities they plan to visit and their landmarks, it can present a problem.
Approval of your holiday
It is recommended that you have a letter from your place or work that specifies you are on holiday leave, with your chosen dates.
Entering Spain as a tourist from a country that does require a visa
If you are a citizen from a country that does require a visa to enter but you have a residence permit or a long-stay visa issued by another country in the EU (except UK, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein) you can enter Spain without a visa.
If you are also the immediate family of a citizen in Spain or Europe, and wish to stay with your family, you can apply for a reunification visa, which is free.
Spain has a “Schengen Zone”, an area in which there are no internal border controls, so entry requirements are the same for countries that possess the same zone.
How can I obtain a Schengen visa?
When you’re travelling for leisure, you must apply for the appropriate Schengen visa (short-stay). This only applies to countries that require a visa to enter Spain.
However, certain documents are required to obtain this visa:
- A valid passport (with the date of issue being more than six months)
- Ticket reservation that coincide with the dates of your trip’s itinerary
- Documentation justifying your travel motive and your stay’s conditions
- Documentation justifying where you’re staying, or letter from a 3rd party
- Sufficient funds for your stay (bank statements)
- Letter from work
- Medical insurance with international coverage
- Proof of cancellation of visa fee
- Printed visa application form
We hope that this advice was useful for your upcoming journey to Spain!